Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tourist season opens -- no bag limit

We are at Devils Lake State Park, in Lincoln City, Oregon (map).

We had a pleasant drive out to the coast, stopping at the diminutive Ellmaker State Park, really just a roadside rest area ("No Overnight Parking"), for lunch. We hit the coast in Newport, where we stopped briefly at Walmart (also no overnight parking) for some supplies.

The surf was pretty spectacular all along the coast yesterday, and the drive up was scenic. We set our sights on the Lincoln City area to end the day. Tourist season has begun, and we passed many "no vacancy" signs here in Lincoln City as well as the other coastal towns. So it was not too surprising that there was no room for us at our first stop, the Chinook Winds Casino north of town.

Having now seen it, we're unlikely to stop there again. The casino has designated some RV parking, but it is in a cramped, oddly-shaped lot, where not a single space is level. The spaces are mere inches apart, and there is hardly room to maneuver a large rig. To top it all off, the entrance to this lot has a large swale just in front of it, making it dicey to even get Odyssey in and out without damage.

Interestingly, this lot is one of the closest to the casino itself. By contrast, a very large, flat, level lot a bit further away sat completely empty, yet clearly marked (as with all the other lots) "No RVs." Far be it from me to complain about how the tribe wants to regulate its free RV parking, but whoever laid this out really missed the boat. A little bit more welcoming layout would bring in more business. We don't gamble much, but we always buy dinner, and often breakfast as well.

So we came back through town to this park, which, while small, was not yet full for the night, and had at least one space left large enough to fit us. We're in the trees with no satellite coverage (so this is being stored for upload later), but there is 50-amp power which came in handy during the cold, rainy night. It's also only a block from Kyllo's grill, a popular local establishment we had noted on our way in and where we walked for dinner, which was quite tasty.

With no internet to get our morning news and comics, we'll probably make it an early day and head north. The weekend crowds will clear out today, and tonight we should have more choices for parking.

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